I like Latin, I’ve never studied it, but I like it nonetheless.  There are all kinds of cool sayings in Latin.  Of course our founding fathers all studied Latin as part of a classical education.  Also the Roman Catholic Church has held on to the use of Latin and still uses it today in many places.  It was not until sometime in the early twentieth century that ordination exams for Presbyterian ministers were conducted in English, before that they were given in Latin. The influence of Latin is indeed widespread and that is why it is common to see Latin sayings carved into the architecture, embossed on coinage, and used for mottos for all kinds of organizations.  Why do I mention Latin?  Well I like Latin because people that use it usually are trying to say something important.  One of the best Latin phrases I’m familiar with is “memento mori.”  Literally the phrase translates to “remember you must die” it is often translated as “remember thou art mortal.”  I was reminded of that several times in various ways in the past few days.

I saw a Facebook post about an old pilot buddy of mine from the Marines that said he had passed away this week as a result of Leukemia.  In this day and age we are surprised to hear about a fifty some odd year old person dying.  We have gotten used to people living longer and longer.  Our tendency is to think of our lives and not think of our deaths.  In fact we will tell people that think of death that they are being morbid and depressing.  Indeed, that can be the case and we must be careful there.  However, we do well to remember that our next breath is a gift from the Lord and that we are not guaranteed tomorrow no matter how old we are.  Thus “memento mori” becomes all the more important.  This should be one of the main considerations we have as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  As Christians, remembering that we are mortal and dying is not a bad thing.  It is certainly not something to lead us to depression.  In fact it is something to encourage us to live everyday to it’s fullest.  We should heed the psalmist to “order our way rightly.”  Unlike the rest of the world, Christians need not fear death because we live in the hope and promise of the resurrection.  In Christ we do not experience death eternal, we experience life eternal. So we say with Job,

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another (Job 19:25-27).


This month we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord and we celebrate His resurrection.  Therefore let us live life in the fullness of the freedom for which Christ bought us with His precious blood.  We live rightly when we live in the gospel, that means taking up our cross and following Jesus, finding His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  While we have the faculties of this body, in this world, let us be poured out in service to Jesus.  Memento Mori!